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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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City & Country

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $98,902,965.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $12,296,041.00 - [12%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $17,489,517.00 - [18%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $1,036,573.00 - [1%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $9,296,671.00 - [9%]
  • Water Scarcity: $42,300,336.00 - [43%]
  • Water Management: $16,483,828.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES A water balance cannot be easily calculated for the government-controlled area of Cyprus. A water balance for the whole island, however, indicates 900 million m3/year of renewable water resources. Surface runoff is estimated at about 830 million m3/year. The natural aquifer recharge is estimated at 300 million m3, of which about 70 million m3 flows to the sea and 100 million m3 emerges from springs. There are 14 main rivers, none of which provides perennial flow. The source of water for these rivers originates in the Troodos mountains. The main groundwater aquifers are the Western Mesaoria (Morphou), Kokkinochoria (south-eastern and eastern Mesaoria) and Akrotiri. Smaller aquifers exist in other parts of the country. In 1995, total dam capacity reached 299 million m3 on the whole island, up from 6 million m3 in 1961 and 64 million m3 in 1974. New dams for storing water for irrigation are planned, particularly in Paphos province in the southwestern part of the island. Additional dams are also planned for Lefkosia province in the centre of the island, but a substantial quantity of this water will be diverted for domestic and industrial use and to compensate for the loss of water recharge downstream of the dams. Currently, some 40 million m3 of wastewater is produced annually on the whole island. Only 16 million m3 of this amount is treated, mainly in Leflkosia province, where the city of Nicosia is located. Nicosia has a city-wide sewage processing plant, part of which is not under government control. About 11 million m3 is reused for irrigation purposes, mainly in the part of the island that is not under government control around the mentioned city. Only 1 million m3/year is reused for the irrigation of hotel gardens and recreation areas in the government-controlled area. There are also other sewage plants in use, such as that located in Limassol or in Larnaca. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 9,251km2. Like other countries in the Mediterranean region, Cyprus has a semi-arid climate and limited water resources. The island’s state forests cover about 18 per cent of its surface and are mainly confined to the Troodos mountain range in the central part of the island and the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the northern part. The conservation of the island’s forests has multiple objectives, such as the conservation of biological diversity, the protection of the soil against erosion, the control of floods and the protection of water resources. The Troodos mountain range is of particularly high ecological significance, not only because it contains rich plant and avian diversity, but also because it feeds most river basins and aquifers of the island, with maximum precipitation of 1,000mm/year. Eighty per cent of surface runoff in Cyprus is generated by the Troodos mountains. Due to the rainfall conditions, surface water is confined to only a few months a year (MANRE, 2004).

1.1.2.WATER USE In 1993, total water withdrawal in the government-controlled area was 211 million m3, of which 74 per cent was for agricultural purposes, including both irrigation (70.6 per cent) and livestock (3.3 per cent). Water withdrawal for domestic and industrial use in 1993 was 23.7 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively. The trend in recent years, which is likely to continue in the future, has been that increasing quantities of water are used for domestic water supplies at the expense of agriculture. This has been necessary in view of an increasing standard of living, an expansion of tourist services, and industrialization. Considering the whole island, 70 million m3 of groundwater flows to the sea yearly and 270 million m3 is either pumped out or emerges from springs, leading to total extraction from the aquifers of 340 million m3/year. As the annual recharge has been estimated at 300 million m3, there could be up to 40 million m3/year of excess pumping over natural recharge. As a result, the total area of Cyprus is experiencing a gradual decline in groundwater yield, a lowering of the water table and, in certain cases, sea water intrusion. According to MANRE (2004), the two main water-consuming sectors in Cyprus are irrigated agriculture and domestic use. Agriculture accounts for about 70 per cent of total water use, while the domestic sector accounts for 20 per cent. Other sectors include tourism (5 per cent), industry (1 per cent), and amenities (5 per cent). Today the total water demand in Cyprus amounts to 265.9 million m3 annually. It is estimated that, by 2020, water demand in Cyprus will increase to 313.7 million m3, mainly as a result of a rise in the use of domestic water and tourism development (Water Development Department and FAO, 2002). This presents many challenges for water management and conservation in Cyprus. There is increasing concern regarding the effective and efficient utilization of water for agriculture and water conservation in general (Chimonidou et al, 2009). The promotion of effective water use and on-farm water management were identified as important contributions to the management strategy (Chimonides, 1995) needed to address problems of water scarcity and promote the practice of intensive agriculture on environmentally sound grounds. Improving water use efficiency at farm level would be a major factor in increasing food production and reversing the degradation of the environment (Papadopoulos, 1996). The overall target is to maximize the positive impacts of irrigation and minimize potential environmental hazards (Chimonidou, D. et al, 2009). The interaction between agricultural production and the environment should be complementary rather than competitive for the balanced development of both. In scheduling irrigation it is important to identify the critical periods during which plant water stress has the Country Overview - Cyprus most pronounced effect on growth and yield of crops, since this is directly related to the nutrients required by the crop (Chimonidou, 1996). The government decided to improve the situation by creating and strengthening, through the provision of personnel and equipment, the Water Use Section of the Department of Agriculture in 1960 and by implementing the Water Use Improvement Project in 1965 and Water Supply (Special Measures) Law No. 35 of 1965 (Chimonidou, D. et al, 2009). With the creation of the Agricultural Research Institute in 1965, experiments were carried out concering basic concepts of soil-waterplant relationships (Chimonides, 1995). According to Chimonidou et al (2009), the percentages of water demand for permanent and annual crops are 59 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Of 351km2 of irrigated crops, 191km2 are temporary crops and 160km2 permanent crops. The main irrigated temporary crops are vegetable and melons (27.6 per cent), followed by fodder crops (12.8 per cent) and cereals (11.4 per cent). The main irrigated permanent crops are citrus (15.3 per cent), fresh fruit (10.2 per cent), olives and carobs (9.4 per cent) and vines (7.1 per cent) (Agricultural Statistics, 2002). A percentage of the annual amount of water used for irrigation purposes is provided by government irrigation schemes. In these schemes, the sources of water used are surface water, groundwater and reclaimed water. As a rule, water demand in the non-government schemes is satisfied by groundwater (Chimonidou et al, 2009). Although the capacity of all Cyprus’ main dams is 273.6 million m3, the average annual amount of water available for use is estimated to be about 112.5 million m3. Of the 112.5 million m3, 93 million m3 is used by government projects, 14.5 million m3 for domestic use (after treatment) and 5 million m3 for ecological areas (Chimonidou et al, 2009). During the dry year of 2005, the contribution to irrigation of all dams was 63 million m3 while in 2006 it was only 39.5 million m3. Today the situation is problematic, as the stored capacity of the dams is only 13.5 million m3 (August 2008) (Chimonidou et al, 2009). Groundwater extraction is estimated to be about 127.4 million m3 annually (this figure does not represent the safe yield of the aquifers, which is much lower). Of this amount, 100.4 million m3 is used for agriculture (26 million m3 within government irrigation schemes and 74.4 million m3 outside) (Chimonidou et al, 2009). Springs contribute very little, amounting to 3.5 million m3 per year, mainly for domestic use in the mountainous villages. At present, desalination units contribute up to 33.5 million m3 per year. Presently, only about 3.5 million m3 is used, of which 2 million m3 is for agriculture and the rest for landscape irrigation (Chimonidou et al, 2009).

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Waterlogging, soil salinization and vector-borne diseases are not present in Cyprus. Contamination of groundwater, especially with fertilizers (particularly nitrates) in certain areas of the island where agriculture is intensively practiced, does, however, occur and is a cause of concern. There is also the problem of seawater intrusion in the main coastal aquifers. This situation requires close monitoring. One of the main water quality problems in Cyprus is water salinization owing to a combination of seawater intrusion, natural saline waters and anthropogenic sources such as agricultural return flows enriched with nitrates, pesticides and insecticide residues from agricultural activities (Socratous, 2000).

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Organizations in Cyprus

To be the leading 24/7 beverage partner. Learn More

Somos una organización social, ONGs, Fundación Privada, especializada en realización, diseño, planificación, ejecución, puesta en marcha y control de Proyectos Multivariable, Proyectos de Producción e Inversión social en las áreas de agro-desarrollos y comercialización de alimentos, trabajando esforzadamente para la … Learn More

Projects in Cyprus

CONNECTING is a project that will establish the EU as a global leader for climate resilience, collaborative processes, and innovation for Nature Based Solutions by drawing on the experiences from three selected front-running cities in this project: Genk (Belgium), Glasgow … Learn More

CRISI-ADAPT II aims to monitor and improve the adaptation planning through a real-time implementation and validation according to near and seasonal range forecast of climate risks.​ Therefore, the specific objectives are:​ Identify climate-related problems in strategic sectors and critical infrastructures. … Learn More

This project aims to improve the knowledge of the population of the Mediterranean monk seal at the eastern Mediterranean, monitoring their populations, contributing to the identification of critical habitat and creating or impulse conservation actions that would mitigate the negative … Learn More

The Posidonia littoral zone (Posidonia-beach-dune system) is a valuable natural asset affected by a variety of impacts and pressures. Drifting vegetation of Posidonia forming banquettes along the beaches is a common feature of many coasts. However, residues of seagrass Posidonia … Learn More

The WaterBee Smart Irrigation Demonstration Action is the follow-on phase from the very successful FP7-SME-007-1 WaterBee “Research for SMEs” project (222440) that ended in September 2010, and very convincingly researched, developed &amp; proved the concept of the WaterBee Prototype to … Learn More

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